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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Kelly's saga continues



Jon Gruden just told us that Brian Kelly is doubtful for Sunday's game against the Titans because of that groin injury he suffered in the season opener. That gives him a 25 percent chance of playing.

It's not Kelly's fault, but this is starting to sound like a broken record. I asked Gruden whether Kelly's decision to play through the injury the past several weeks has made it worse. Gruden didn't admit to that, but one has to wonder if it doesn't make more sense to put the guy on the shelf for a while. He can't seem to play a game wire to wire because of the injury. Furthermore, Phillip Buchanon is playing well in Buchanon's absence.

There's a bigger picture here, too. Brian Kelly hasn't been healthy in a long time, having missed 14 games last season because of a turf toe injury and the groin injury that happened right off the bat this season. Couple that with the emergence of Buchanon, and you have to wonder where the Bucs stand on Kelly going forward.

The team gave Buchanon a significant contract in the offseason, which indicates they believe in him. At the very least, Kelly seems to have lost a lot of leverage in his effort to get a new contract. At worst, he could be cut or traded in the offseason. He is owed $3.2-million in base salary for 2008, the final year of his contract.

Kelly is a very good cornerback, one of the better pure cover men in the league. But the NFL is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately kind of business. And right now, Kelly's injury means he can't do much.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:50pm]


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